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‘Jallikattu League’ in Tamil Nadu Hits Hurdle With Govt Yet to Give Approval

  • A source from the state government told CNN-News18 that the main reason for the holdup in giving permission for the Jallikattu event is that it is surprised that the event is in a league format.

Updated on: January 5, 2018, 6:13 PM IST
Poornima Murali , CNN-News18
Chennai: A ‘Jallikattu league’ in Tamil Nadu was all set to kick off here on January 7 but the event has hit a hurdle with the state government still not granting approval for the event.

A source from the state government told CNN-News18 that the main reason for the holdup is that it is surprised that the event is in a league format.

The government doesn’t want a traditional sport to be played in an IPL-like-format. Nor does it want to encourage the ranking of the bulls and players, the source added.

The source further said that the initial venue the organisers chose was not in compliance with the Supreme Court guidelines.

An organiser of the event, on condition of anonymity, said they are confident that an approval from the state government for the event will come in a day or two.

“We never called it a league. The media made the Jallikattu event a league-like format. The state government was also worried about corporates sponsoring the event. We had no intentions to commercialise the event. We wanted to clear the doubts of people who said the bull-taming sport is a form of animal cruelty,” he said.

The organisers have chosen another location at MARG Swarnaboomi on the East Coast Road. The location for the event initially was a place opposite the Madras Crocodile bank on the ECR.

From questions over adherence to a Supreme Court ruling over conduct of the game to stiff opposition to corporatisation of the traditional sport, the organisers are waging a multi-fronted battle to get the event going. They may now have to shift the venue to a far-flung location.

The initial idea was to have teams from Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai participate in the event.

In January 2018, massive protests broke out at Marina Beach where protesters urged both the state government and the Centre to repeal the ban on Jallikattu. Following unrelenting protest, the then chief minister O Panneerselvam issued an ordinance that amended the Prevention of cruelty to animals act. This was later introduced as a bill in the State Assembly and was unanimously passed. However, the case is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Reproduced from online edition on CNN News18 dated 5/1/2018

Why India bull-taming protest may not be just about bulls

  • 20 January 2017
  • From the sectionIndia
A bull about to attack a young contestant at a Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu (file photo)Image copyrightJ SURESH

Image captionThe sport is a 2,000-year-old tradition and a way of life with people

India, wrote author VS Naipaul, is a country of a million little mutinies, reeling with rage and revolt.

One such is now brewing in southern Tamil Nadu state, where people have been protesting against a ban on a traditional bull-taming contest, known as jallikattu. They say the ban is an attack on their culture and identity. Thousands of largely peaceful men and women – mostly students and workers – have been holding an unprecedented beachside protest in the capital, Chennai, since Tuesday. They have been sharing food and water, sleeping in the open, and cleaning up the beach in the morning. Until now, it has been a remarkable exhibition of responsible public dissent, largely free of invective and incendiary rhetoric, which usually mark protests like these.

Outside the capital, people have demonstrated at more than 150 places. There’s no let up in the momentum as the local government struggles to resolve the crisis: more than a million people are estimated to have protested across Tamil Nadu on Friday. Public transport has been affected; schools, colleges and businesses are shut. Oscar-winning music composer and Tamil Nadu’s most well-known celebrity, AR Rahman, has tweeted that he’s fasting in support. Cricket and movie stars have backed the movement. An overexcited newspaper report has even called it India’s Arab Spring. That may well be an exaggeration. But there is little doubt, as a journalist who is covering the protest says, that what began as small protests against the arrest of 200 young men opposing the ban last week has now snowballed into a “mass movement, leaderless and largely peaceful”.

Indian students shout slogans and hold placards during a demonstration against the ban on the Jallikattu bull taming ritual, and calling for a ban on animal rights organisation PETA, at Marina Beach at Chennai on January 19, 2017.Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe protests have been spontaneous and without a leader

Thousands of sturdy, young men chase bulls – mostly owned by the temples – for prizes during jallikattu held during the harvest festival of Pongal in January. The animals are released from pens, with men supposed to hold on to the animal’s hump for about 15-20 metres or three jumps of the bull to win the prize. Animal rights activists, who support the ban, say the sport is cruel to animals. Nonsense, say the bull owners and supporters: the sport is a 2,000-year-old tradition and a way of life with people in large swathes of Tamil Nadu. They say the animals are, by and large, well looked after. Opinions diverge greatly on the subject. Federal minister Maneka Gandhi has called the festival a day of “violence and killing” where “boys jump on each one (bulls) and try to tear its horns off”. She wrote: “Everyone in India looks down upon it – as civilised people should.” Her comments have attracted a lot of flak. Shyam Krishnakumar, a research associate with Vision India Foundation, says: “This statement typifies a cosmopolitan elitism that considers itself to be modern and progressive and rural India to be backward and barbaric, in need of being saved. There is little effort taken to understand and sincerely engage with their lives and worldviews, there is merely the civilising mission to be force-fed to everyone, for their own good of course.”

‘Bull by the horns’

Activists and bull owners have fought in the courts over the fate of the sport for more than a decade. In 2014, the Supreme Court banned it – and last year upheld the ban after a fresh challenge. But the January protests – “taking the bull by the horns”, as my favourite headline says – is unrivalled in recent memory. They have been spontaneous and not led by any political party. They have cut across Tamil Nadu’s often fractious caste and class lines. Participants include students, info-tech professionals, factory workers, farmers, anti-nuclear activists, and many other ordinary folk. And the protests are no longer just about bulls. There are people angry with the recent currency ban and the shortage of cash and the controversial judicial ordermaking it compulsory to play the national anthem in theatres and for audiences to stand when it is being played. There are people who have protested against a nuclear plant in the state and against GM crops. There are irate drought-hit farmers who feel they are being deprived of their share of water from a river that their state shares with neighbouring Karnataka.

Indian students shout slogans and hold placards during a demonstration against the ban on the Jallikattu bull taming ritual, and calling for a ban on animal rights organisation PETA, at Marina Beach at Chennai on January 19, 2017.Image copyrightAFP

Image captionProtesters say the ban is an attack on Tamil tradition
A bull charges through a crow of Indian participants and bystanders during Jallikattu, an annual bull fighting ritual, on the outskirts of Madurai on January 15, 2017Image copyrightAFP

Image captionBull owners say that the animals are cared for

They share, say many, deeper anxieties about what they feel are assaults on local traditions and cultures by the federal government, judiciary and elites in Delhi. Many of them say they are resisting attempts at “homogenising” India by federal fiats. The protests, many say, represent an inchoate movement, almost like a harbinger of things to come. “Jallikattu is just a trigger. This huge protest is a manifestation of the trust deficit between Tamil people and the federal government and the judiciary,” says historian AR Venkatachalapathy. “They even distrust the media in Delhi which portrays Tamils as some exotic people with weird customs. Many don’t trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP government’s muscular nationalism and recent moves like the currency ban.” Like most uprisings, this is also likely to fizzle out as the authorities try to placate the protesters by bringing in temporary laws to allow the festival this year. But the protests mirror modern-day fears about globalisation and anxieties about loss of identity, living, and culture – and authorities who don’t care. ” says historian AR Venkatachalapathy. “They even distrust the media in Delhi which portrays Tamils as some exotic people with weird customs. Many don’t trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP govern, 000-year-old tradition and a way of life with people in large swathes of Tamil Nadu. They say the animals are, 000-year-old tradition and a way of life with people India, 2017.Image copyrightAFP Image caption Protesters say the ban is an attack on Tamil tradition A bull charges through a crow of Indian participants and bystanders during Jallikattu, 2017.Image copyrightAFP Image caption The protests have been spontaneous and without a leader Thousands of sturdy, 2017Image copyrightAFP Image caption Bull owners say that the animals are cared for They share, a research associate with Vision India Foundation, almost like a harbinger of things to come. “Jallikattu is just a trigger. This huge protest is a manifestation of the trust deficit between Tamil people and the federal government and the judiciary, an annual bull fighting ritual, and calling for a ban on animal rights organisation PETA, and cleaning up the beach in the morning. Until now, and culture – and authorities who don’t care., and many other ordinary folk. And the protests are no longer just about bulls. There are people angry with the recent currency ban and the shortage of cash and the controversial judicial order making, anti-nuclear activists, AR Rahman, as a journalist who is covering the protest says, as my favourite headline says – is unrivalled in recent memory. They have been spontaneous and not led by any political party. They have cut across Tamil Nadu’s often fractious caste and class lines., at Marina Beach at Chennai on January 19, by and large, Chennai, colleges and businesses are shut. Oscar-winning music composer and Tamil Nadu’s most well-known celebrity, deeper anxieties about what they feel are assaults on local traditions and cultures by the federal government, factory workers, farmers, for their own good of course.” ‘Bull by the horns’ Activists and bull owners have fought in the courts over the fate of the sport for more than a decade. In 2014, has tweeted that he’s fasting in support. Cricket and movie stars have backed the movement. An overexcited newspaper report has even called it India’s Arab Spring. That may well be an exaggeration. Bu, in need of being saved. There is little effort taken to understand and sincerely engage with their lives and worldviews, info-tech professionals, is a country of a million little mutinies, it has been a remarkable exhibition of responsible public dissent, judiciary and elites in Delhi. Many of them say they are resisting attempts at “homogenising” India by federal fiats. The protests, known as jallikattu. They say the ban is an attack on their culture and identity. Thousands of largely peaceful men and women – mostly students and workers – have been holding an unprecedented beachsi, largely free of invective and incendiary rhetoric, leaderless and largely peaceful”. Indian students shout slogans and hold placards during a demonstration against the ban on the Jallikattu bull taming ritual, living, many say, on the outskirts of Madurai on January 15, people have demonstrated at more than 150 places. There’s no let up in the momentum as the local government struggles to resolve the crisis: more than a million people are estimated to have protested, reeling with rage and revolt. One such is now brewing in southern Tamil Nadu state, represent an inchoate movement, say many, say the bull owners and supporters: the sport is a 2, say the sport is cruel to animals. Nonsense, says: “This statement typifies a cosmopolitan elitism that considers itself to be modern and progressive and rural India to be backward and barbaric, since Tuesday. They have been sharing food and water, sleeping in the open, Soutik Biswas India correspondent 20 January 2017 From the section India Share A bull about to attack a young contestant at a Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu (file photo)Image copyrightJ SURESH Image caption The sport is a 2, that what began as small protests against the arrest of 200 young men opposing the ban last week has now snowballed into a “mass movement, the Supreme Court banned it – and last year upheld the ban after a fresh challenge. But the January protests – “taking the bull by the horns”, there is merely the civilising mission to be force-fed to everyone, this is also likely to fizzle out as the authorities try to placate the protesters by bringing in temporary laws to allow the festival this year. But the protests mirror modern-day fears about globali, well looked after. Opinions diverge greatly on the subject. Federal minister Maneka Gandhi has called the festival a day of “violence and killing” where “boys jump on each one (bulls) and try to tear, where people have been protesting against a ban on a traditional bull-taming contest, which usually mark protests like these. The state that loves bullfighting but isn’t Spain Jallikattu: Why India bullfighting ban ‘threatens native breeds’ India court bans jallikattu bull fighting fes, who support the ban, with men supposed to hold on to the animal’s hump for about 15-20 metres or three jumps of the bull to win the prize. Animal rights activists, wrote author VS Naipaul, young men chase bulls – mostly owned by the temples – for prizes during jallikattu held during the harvest festival of Pongal in January. 

Social media comes in handy in coordinating Jallikattu stir

Chennai, Jan 19, 2017, (PTI)

For instance, a social media user Manikandan uploaded pictures of protest between Madurai and Theni in 'Jallikattu veeravilayattu' Facebook page. pti file photo
Social media appeared to have played a key role in bringing together thousands of pro-Jallikattu protesters to the sprawling Marina Beach here and other parts of Tamil Nadu, with updates on the ongoing students’ spontaneous stir and messages flooding the platform.

Sites including Facebook were awash with “Let us be united”, “We want Jallikattu,” and “I support Jallikattu” pages, which together account for lakhs of followers, who kept commenting on the evolving situation and pressing their cause.

Facebook pages like “Jallikattu veeravilayattu,” specially designed to spread messages on the bull-taming sport and protest across the state were active with live updates.

Special folk songs were uploaded and real time pictures, videos of protests were posted regularly which helped the information reach more and more people, prompting several of them to join hands.

For instance, a social media user Manikandan uploaded pictures of protest between Madurai and Theni in ‘Jallikattu veeravilayattu’ Facebook page.

A college student here, R Sukumar, said he joined the protests on the Marina Beach responding to a campaign in Facebook by several other students.

Balakumar Somu, in his Facebook post said, “I see protests in so many places, from the metros to small towns & villages. So happy to be a part of the enlightened Tamil youth @Tirupur (Collector’s office).”

Also, posts like “No Jallikattu, no vote” and “save native cattle” dominated social media sites.

Each Jallikattu protest and information related to it got thousands of “likes” on Facebook.
A blogger said, “Jallikattu is not bullfight…PeTA should stop equating the sport with bull fighting.”

In Twitter, hashtags like “justice for jallikattu,” “save our culture jallikattu” continued to trend through the day with countless messages.

Also, messages like “I can arrange dinner, lunch for protestors,” “I can provide drinking water please contact…” were also abound, indicating how the students were organising and managing the protests.

Jallikattu: Tug of war over bull-taming festival in Tamil Nadu continues

Trained bulls are lead through a restricted path; locals jump onto hump of bulls and try conquer it

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai January 10, 2017 Last Updated at 17:38 IST

jallikattu, bull, bull fight
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

With Pongal, the biggest agriculture-related festival of being round the corner, the controversy on Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport celebrated in Pongal, has once again come to the fore.

 

What has been a tug of war between the traditional Tamil culture and a group of animal lovers, has also been intertwined with court cases and political discussions in the state and the centre.

 

The 2000-year-old traditional practice of taming a bull, which is linked with the cultural tradition of as a popular sport among warriors since the “Sangam era” finds a mention in the ancient Tamil text “Silapathigaram”.

 

The specially trained bulls are lead through a small gate to a restricted path, where the local lads try to conquer it by jumping and holding onto the hump of the bulls. Accidents, both minor and major, often occur as the panicked throngs its way through the gate into the crowd.

 

The State Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, describes the game as: “It is inextricably linked to rural, agrarian customs and has religious significance, with families donating bulls to temples in fulfilment of vows. also addresses the cause of conservation of native germplasm since bulls with excellent physical attributes are reared. Further, bulls are not harmed or physically tortured during Jallikattu”.

 

The government has now sought the central government to consider issuing an ordinance to enable people in the state to conduct Jallikattu.

 

This is at a time when animal lovers link the game with the fight in Spain, where the is brutally killed for the pleasure of the viewers. In a judgement on May 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of India, banned the conduct of in the State of and also held that bulls cannot be used as performing either for events or for bullock cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.

 

“The ban on has caused widespread resentment and general disappointment among the people of Tamil Nadu, particularly in rural areas, since is intertwined with religious and social cultural ethos of Tamil society,” says Panneerselvam.

 

The centre is against since allowing the game could be a political gain for the ruling party in the centre. In January 2015, the government of had requested Modi’s personal intervention to enable the conduct of events in by denotifying bulls from the list of performing in a notification dated July 11, 2011, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

 

The centre has also issued a notification on January 7, 2016, which was expected to enable the groups to conduct during Pongal, which falls in the middle of January.

 

However, it was stayed by the Supreme Court and the game was not conducted legally during these years, though in some places, people tried to conduct it without the approval of the administration.

 

A review petition was filed by the government of on May 19, 2015, and the Supreme Court refused to review its earlier judgement, dismissed the review petition on December 16, 2016.

 

The state government has now demanded that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, should clearly denotify bulls “as performing animals” from the notification issued on July 11, 2011, and suitably amend Section 11(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Act, 1960 by introducing a new clause in sub-section (3) of Section 11 specifically exempting in addition to other exemptions already provided in the Act.

 

The traditional game of has its own business nurtured over a period of time, Organisers and locals say the ban will have a direct impact on thousands of and his family, who depend on this breed cattle for livelihood. According to organisers, a can fetch as high as Rs 2 lakh to a farmer and it would cost about Rs 20 lakh in one major village.

 

had been organised in 24 places between January 14 and January 17 in Tamil Nadu. An event can raise upto Rs 15 lakh in a village apart from the prizes, said Balakumar Somu, one of the ardent follower of earlier. Somu, an IT professional quit a job in Singapore, relocated to Coimbatore and started a website supporting this sport.

 

According to him, a farmer invests around Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 to buy a calf and the entire family spends money and energy for 1.5 years to grow the calf into a healthy bull. They use as a platform to find a buyer and the bulls which wins can stretch around Rs 1.5-2 lakh to the owners.

 

The buyers, who are mainly rich people buy these bulls as a matter of pride, employee around 5-6 people to maintain it. The people who are employed, mostly women, get about Rs 800-900 per week as salary.

 

Thousands of artisans also get affected as in many villages, a major source of income has been creating decorative items, including specialised ropes for the bulls and for the race.

 

may be a three-day sports festival, but it has been the source of income for throughout the year, said Somu.

 

The organisers spend anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 20 lakh to organise it depends on the village.

 

The money will be spent on preparing the ground for Jallikattu, deposit money, gifts including, motorcycles, gold coins, bicycles, steels almirahs and sheep and goats. The money is mobilised through sponsors and advertisers, most of them being local brands. These take space in t-shirts, which players wear on the ground and also merchandise including, coffee mugs, posters, coasters, pens, bedsheets.

 

This will also affect the special breeds used in Jallikattu, including the Kangeyam breed of bulls. Already, the number of Kangeyam bulls has come down from lakhs to tens of thousands.

 

“The banning of and the demand for banning of other rural sports like rekhla race will ultimately result in the vanishing of native species and ultimately result in the country turning into import dependent on bovine animals,” says Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, managing trustee, Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF).

 

The foundation breeds Kangayam bulls and cows and also works on the preservation of native breeds. According to him while the Kangayam cow costs around Rs 25,000-35,000 the is available for Rs 10,000 only.

 

Sivasenapathy said the population of Kangayam variety has come down to one lakh from 11 lakh in 1990. People with total disconnect with livestock, rural life or villages are ones who claim that do not love animals, whereas, farm are part of the rural household. He said cattle farming in India is part of the household activity and not a corporate activity.